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Old 02-18-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
mullenium
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New to the forum and hobby, am I on the right track?


Recently purchased a 30-32gal tank setup off craigslist for 60 bucks.. the guy said it was 35 gallon but the measurements i pulled up look like its anywhere from 30-32.5 gallons

came with a 1996 All Glass Aquarium tank, matching stand from '96, penguin 350 biowheel filter, coralife 7000k 93watt dual bulb fixture, air pump, timer, some decos for the air pump (including the infamous scuba diver treasure dude and sunken pirate ship), and a master freshwater test kit with other supplies like PH down and acid buffer and food.

Ive returned the decos and air pump to petsmart for a nice profit.. the air pump was 20 bucks, scuba dude 20 bucks, and pirate ship 40 bucks.. so I actually MADE $20 when all was said and done.

I got 4 bags of 12lb Flora Max substrate.. mix of 2 midnight black and 2 of the reddish color, cleaned the tank with petsmart aquarium cleaner spray and rinsed the substrate off a ton to where there was no more murky water. (that flora max is nasty stuff)

after that I purchased some dwarf baby tears and a piece of driftwood with a couple anubias attached to it from my LFS... and also some microsword from petsmart, seperated them out to smaller clumps and planted them in the substrate and set the driftwood in place, topped with a couple plastic bags and 2 plates began to fill the tank up.

i let the water cycle for a couple days, and lastnight went out and got 3 cardinal tetras, 3 glowlight rasboras, and 2 red cherry shrimp from the LFS.. and ran to petsmart for a temporary 150w fluval heater and water conditioner. I added the conditioner and waited for the temp to get to about 78ish with the bags of livestock floating in the water. then after a half hour or so water temp was good so I dumped the bags into the tank water and all.


I noticed the driftwood from the LFS has a couple teeny tiny snails on it, one was on the anubias leaf and the other was in a crevice in the driftwood. are these guys bad news?

also today the water got significantly cloudier, I think its the cycling process, is it wise to add the bio magnet clarifier that came with the flora max since i already have fish in it? or just wait it out?


as far as my heater is concerned, I ordered 2 50w jager heaters on amazon, and planning to return the fluval 150w once those come in. will 2 50w be sufficient for my size tank? one on each end? my ambient room temp is typically 69-70ish

Also I noticed some wavy like algea rising from one of the dwarf tears clumps.. I dont have a co2 setup but was planning on buying some of the API liquid stuff from petsmart with my store credit from the decorations.

I'll have to take a pic later, but am I on the right track? I realize I should have fully cycled the tank before stocking it with fish but my 3 year old really wanted to get some 'pretty fishies'

Last edited by mullenium; 02-18-2013 at 11:10 PM.. Reason: ...
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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Do you know how old the light bulbs are? If they've been used for a length of time, you could need to change them out for ones putting off a nice spectrum. The quality of light will deteriorate over time. It may look good to you, but your plants will tell you for sure.

Running two 50 watt heaters may or may not work out. You may have to run them higher than your desired temp just to keep your tank at 74 degrees. I am all for using multiple heaters because I feel like it distributes the heat evenly. With just one, you may have a thermal gradient of several degrees in a big tank. I think the Fluval heater will be just fine for your tank IMO. I only run a single heater in my 29 gallon.

Your dwarf baby tears may or may not grow for you. I have some in my tank and I've got pretty high lighting and they've just kinda sat there. I don't run Co2 (still fighting that idea) and I've come to understand I may have to. The anubias, on the other hand, should do just fine for you. The micro sword will need another forum member's advice, as I have not not tried that one!

The cloudiness is definitely the tank's beneficial bacteria in full bloom. If it's a white haze then that's what you're dealing with. The tank's parameters will be changing quite a bit, so it will be important to monitor what's going on in case you need to do any emergency partial water changes. I ALWAYS add the bags of water to my tank. But let me explain why:

I only buy from the fish store that I work at, so I know if the tank has had any issues in it. I keep logs of all treatments of water changes, medicines dosed, etc. Many would advise against adding your water from a LFS because you could be unknowingly adding something dangerous into your tank (ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, parasites, diseases). A positive note for you is that you added beneficial bacteria from the store's water into your tank. That should help your cycle process a little bit!

The clarifier should have been added right away, but I don't think it would hurt to add now.

You definitely got a good deal on your set up! When I'm working at my store, the biggest issue with tanks crashing is because the kids always want more fish or fish too soon! You are not alone with this haha! Several times a month I will have a customer (who I just helped pick out a set up for their house a few days prior) wanting to purchase sometimes up to a dozen fish. Their reply, "Well my son/daughter was starting to get upset that there wasn't any fish. That's all s/he talks about." And for that one, I have no advice! haha! Best wishes on your new tank!
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:15 PM   #3
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I forgot to add this:

The snails. Well, They may eventually breed and overpopulate the tank. If they're just the common plant snail, you could wake up to fifty new snails one day. They can eat and damage your plants. My best advice would be to find a fish that would be suitable for eating snails. Don't add it quite yet, as you have just put several fish in your tank. Loaches may good snail hunters. Or if you can find them, Assassin Snails would work. They kill and eat other snails, but don't repopulate like the pest types do.

I noticed two in my 15 gallon. I saw a ghost shrimp and cory cat fighting over one and a week or two later, I can't say that I've seen anymore snails.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rileynapalm View Post

I only buy from the fish store that I work at, so I know if the tank has had any issues in it....Many would advise against adding your water from a LFS because you could be unknowingly adding something dangerous into your tank (ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, parasites, diseases)...When I'm working at my store, the biggest issue with tanks crashing is because the kids always want more fish or fish too soon! You are not alone with this haha! Several times a month I will have a customer (who I just helped pick out a set up for their house a few days prior) wanting to purchase sometimes up to a dozen fish. Their reply, "Well my son/daughter was starting to get upset that there wasn't any fish. That's all s/he talks about." And for that one, I have no advice! haha! Best wishes on your new tank!


+1 on all these accounts. I also work at a LFS and will only buy from there and purchase fish out of tanks that I know have been healthy. In this sense I think those of us who work at LFS are lucky. Always be cautious of adding tank water from your LFS or elsewhere unless you know the tank's history.



As for adding fish before your tank is cycled...like rileynapalm said it is a common occurence, and usually due to kids! I've seen the unfortunate end result of this (dead/ diseased fish) so be cautious with your water parameters and the next time you go get fish, add only a few at a time! I know it's tempting to buy them all at once, but for the best health in your fish I recommend to just be patient and wait.



A good suggestion for snail eaters (when you're ready for them) would be Zebra Loaches or Dwarf Chain Loaches as they stay relatively small (under 4") and will go great with community fish. Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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do the loaches eat shrimp? I want to get more red cherry shrimp eventually.. my LFS also had a singapore flower shrimp that was really neat.

I think they have assassin snails, ill have to call and ask.

also as far as my lighting, im not sure how old it is. Is there any way to tell? Id hate to go out and buy new bulbs, but it makes sense since they deteriorate.

also do you guys know why the dwarf baby tears are producing algae? it almost looks like waving flames of algae waving around in the current.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullenium View Post
do the loaches eat shrimp? I want to get more red cherry shrimp eventually.. my LFS also had a singapore flower shrimp that was really neat.

I think they have assassin snails, ill have to call and ask.

also as far as my lighting, im not sure how old it is. Is there any way to tell? Id hate to go out and buy new bulbs, but it makes sense since they deteriorate.

also do you guys know why the dwarf baby tears are producing algae? it almost looks like waving flames of algae waving around in the current.
The loaches should leave your snails alone, but keep in mind individual personalities do come into play. One loach may not care about them but another may not be able to get enough. It's more of a "try and see" deal with shrimp usually. There's not a way to tell if bulbs are older except if they start to dim. The best way would be to contact the person you bought them from and ask. Dwarf baby tears is notoriously hard to keep, usually requiring very high light and CO2. The algae forming on them would be hair aglae. How long are you keeping your lights on during the day?
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
mullenium
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Originally Posted by Ashnic05 View Post
The loaches should leave your snails alone, but keep in mind individual personalities do come into play. One loach may not care about them but another may not be able to get enough. It's more of a "try and see" deal with shrimp usually. There's not a way to tell if bulbs are older except if they start to dim. The best way would be to contact the person you bought them from and ask. Dwarf baby tears is notoriously hard to keep, usually requiring very high light and CO2. The algae forming on them would be hair aglae. How long are you keeping your lights on during the day?

today i bump the light up from 8 hours to 10 hours on the timer. I think maybe with the tank cycling and being cloudy its preventing the light from reaching them too?
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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Getting plants from the start is a good idea however your plant choice may not be the best given your system at this point. In order to help keep the tank within good water parameters for your newly acquired fish I recommend some faster growing stem plants (they are usually the cheaper plants in a fish store).

For my tank I did a fishless cycle for about ~30 days prior to moving any livestock into the tank. I dosed pure ammonia to kick start a bio filter in the tank. During the first couple of weeks there certainly was a 'haze' to the water from the bacterial bloom. I wouldn't be concerned about your light penetration at this point.

I am currently running 6 hours only a day due to algae growth starting and me not wanting it to get out of hand. If your bulbs are old and not giving the proper light output anymore then increasing your photoperiod could be giving your algae exactly what it needs to flourish. This plus the changing water chemistry and instability of the tank. I think you will just need to ride it out.

Yoyo loaches are really cool and stay a manageable size but they can get a taste for shrimp from time to time so you never know until you try it out!
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:34 AM   #9
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All of these are great suggestions. A bad light spectrum will really help algae take off! Some Flourish Excel may help clear up that algae, but it'll be just a band-aid unless the root is treated. (Use caution with Excel as it has been known to "melt" certain plants. See if your plants are compatible with Excel, otherwise dose 1/4 the required amount and work your way up to full strength adding 1/4 more each week. If you see anything that looks like trouble, return to the prior dose.)

You may need to add a little current to your tank. In my 29, I have a small powerhead that helps push more water and keep debris from settling. It also helps make sure the fertilizers I'm adding are being dispersed evenly.

The other thing may be poor Co2. Tom Barr points out that algae problems are more than just lights and nutrients. But you may also need to add a little Phosphates (PO4).

Before getting into all that, I'd still say to start with the light.
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